In the summer of 1527, an expedition of approximately 600 men and women set off from Spain to explore what is now the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico and claim it for the Spanish crown. Among this group was a Moroccan slave by the name of Estebanico, from the city of Azemmour, just south of Casablanca, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast.
The Narvaez Expedition, as it’s now known, was an unmitigated disaster: death, disease, infighting, along with widespread destruction of the Native American populations they encounter. Only four people survived, appearing 9 years later in northwestern Mexico after an incredible journey that took them across the Mississippi River and across the whole of what is now Texas.
Of course, one of these survivors was Estebanico. In our first episode, we welcome author Laila Lalami, to talk about The Moor’s Account, he ...... Read more